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The Invisible Man

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  54,254 ratings  ·  2,084 reviews
This masterpiece of science fiction is the fascinating story of Griffin, a scientist who creates a serum to render himself invisible, and his descent into madness that follows.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 3rd 2002 by Signet Classics (first published 1897)
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July 2010

In a very old episode of This American Life (listen here), John Hodgman asks the ultimate question: Flight vs. Invisibility? It’s an amusing party topic, a fun little game to play, but there’s actually more to it than that. As a “Super Rorschach Test,” the question is difficult to answer because the two choices both tell us very different things about ourselves. Flight is noble, something we aspire to; invisibility is a more primal desire, something hidden and mysterious. There’s even a...more
2.0 stars. I had not read this book in many years and so I decided to re-read it over the weekend. In retrospect, this might have been a big mistake. Previously, I had very fond memories of the book as one of the best of the “classic” horror stories along with Dracula, Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Well, it is certainly a classic of the genre, but I no longer feel like it deserves a place among the elite of its peers.

If can I may borrow and paraphrase from the...more
Do you think the notion of an invisible man was really foreign to the readers during the time Wells wrote? While I found this book moderately entertaining, thought the scientific "theories" were thought-provoking, and felt there were seeds of some really potent themes (however undernourished the seeds turned out to be), I feel like Wells was totally preoccupied with trying to describe to the reader what it would be like to have an invisible man in our midst. This isn't a concept that I (as a mod...more
Stefan Yates
My second H.G. Wells novel. Honestly, I didn't enjoy The Invisible Man quite as much as I did The War of the Worlds. The storyline and writing were both top notch, but I just found it hard to REALLY enjoy a novel in which I totally despised the main character.

In all actuality, I guess my feelings towards the protagonist/antagonist (yes, both are the same character) would be considered a win for the author, as I feel that Wells didn't intend for the reader to truly like this character. What I fi...more
While reading this book, I tried to imagine reading it in the late years of the 19th century,having in mind that it was an era of inventions, the invention of the television was shortly afterwards, in 1900 a television was shown in an electricity congress in Paris, and that was the first time it was called a television,the escalator, the radio,the helicopter,..etc and many other inventions of the first years of the 20th century, so those people thought that everything was possible, and especiall...more
I love Wells, why I was never made to read anything by him in high school I will never know. The Invisible Man follows the story of an un-named man who enters a tavern/inn in a small town. The man is wrapped head to toe in bandages, eyes covered by goggles and a hat pulled down. Assuming the mysterious man to have been horribly scarred, the innkeeper’s wife rents him a room without even asking his name. Very quickly the reader learns that the man is invisible, and not all that pleasant to begin...more
Wells had a gift for combining science fiction and social commentary which remains relevant to our times. The Invisible Man can be taken at face value and only the surface story considered. Or the reader can reflect on some of the things Wells may or may not have been trying to say, especially involving society, idividuality, ostracizing and passing judgement, xenophobia, and other such topics that solely pertain to human interaction.

I have become a huge fan of H.G. Wells, though it still rankle...more
There are some semi-spoilers in this review. However none of them can describe the experience of actually reading this book and the language used and mainly refer to generally commonly known elements of this book.

This is perhaps my favourite of H.G.Wells' books that I have read. This in itself is interesting as it has slipped into a sort of obscurity when compared to the fame of The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. However what I love about this book is its greater grounding in human aff...more
Melville House Presents: The Invisible Man; or, Hey Everyone, I Bet We Could Find Some Great Novellas By Unjustly-Forgotten Eighteenth- Or Nineteenth-Century Female Writers If We Did A Bit of Digging, But Fuck It, Let's Just Do H. G. Wells Instead, Because What The World Really Needs Is Another Edition Of The Invisible Man, Amiright?
Erin ~ (It's October, time for creepy books)

3.5 Stars

The Invisible Man is character orientated in its own way, but by taking a distant tone to illustrate the isolation of genius from society, the corruption of power. HG Wells makes sure the man isn’t even that likeable, although of course my silly heart felt compassion sometimes anyway.

If you’re familiar with the Universal classic movie, the first chapters – that is his time at the Inn – is pretty identical in sequence and outcome in the film. Thankfully the shrew innkeeper woman wasn’t a...more
Mar 02, 2007 Matt rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Wells fans might enjoy it; most readers will be bored.
Science fiction owes a huge debt to H.G. Wells. His “scientific romances” explored conceits that writers are still fascinated with. SF fans worth their salt, then, will make it a point to read the major works of the Father of Science Fiction. In that spirit I picked up The Invisible Man.

A stranger takes up lodging in a rustic inn. His eccentric behavior is remarked upon, demanding complete privacy and going about in concealing attire. Inexplicable mischief arrives with him and, when word gets ou...more
So you want a review, do you? Well then, look here. No, not there, you fool; you are looking in the wrong place. Ha, ha, ha. You don't like this game? Who said you were supposed to? You want the invisible man but you hate the invisible review? Have I stolen something from you? Maybe I need it more than you. Maybe my very survival depends upon it. Still can't see my review? Then maybe you need to read The Invisible Man.

This is a classic book that I have actually looked forward to reading. Who doe...more
One man's strange desire to be something and nothing exacts its toll by driving him completely insane. Criminally insane. In our day and age, a man like this would be labeled a threat to society, a the turn of the century he was, merely THE INVISIBLE MAN.


Okay, so I finally sat down and watched the Universal Studios version of this (starring Claude Rains - what a hoot!); and I must say that, thanks to a friend allowing me to sit in on several of her film studies classes, I see no...more
Erin Verginia
Maybe the extreme popularity of this story, or the title alone ruined it for me, but it was hard to develop an interest in the character. You go into the story knowing the man is invisible, so when the author is describing the man’s strange behavior, it only confounds the other characters in the story, not the reader. Much more suspense could have been built if the story were titled, “The mysterious case of Joe Blow” or whatnot, to at least keep the readers in suspense for the first 40 pages (I...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a novel by H. G. Wells I've never gotten around to until now. Perhaps because invisible people are a bit on the boring side. I mean how many things can you do while invisible until you get bored and say "What's the thrill?". H. G. Wells saw invisibility as a comment on Victorian values. Of course, the Victorians didn't have the internet or sexting to get their jollies off so invisibility may have came in handy. Perhaps we should have invisibility. Congressman Wiener might still be congre...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
A corking good read! Just great old-fashioned yarning! Being invisible isn't nearly as much fun as it sounds. In fact it's downright inconvenient. And hazardous, to boot.

I thought this was going to be a little sinister or scary, but it's not. If you stop and try to picture some of what's happening, it's actually rather hilarious. The Invisible Man has to stay invisible to hide from people who mean him harm. This means he can't wear clothes, which are not invisible and would give him away. So th...more
Wells is famous for changing the course of science fiction. Up to the time of his writing, science fiction was more about the science than it was about the fiction: a reader need but pick up one of Jules Vernes' famous adventures to see that the science is painstakingly presented as quite real, quite feasible. Wells, however, opted to go further afield, using science that was not yet possible (indeed, we've yet to invent the invisible man or a time machine, and the latter seems entirely impossib...more
Feb 08, 2012 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
I have wonderful memories of this book as it is the first H.G. Wells book I ever read. Maybe that makes tis hold a higher place for me than others, but I still think the actual story is amazing. Wells was a man far ahead of his time and his story of science run amok in the hands of an immoral main character had a impact on me and made me a lifelong Wells fan. Truly the father of science fiction.
Jay Miklovic
This was a quick easy and enjoyable read. This book reminds me a lot of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, because placed me in a serious state of self examination. The story was not that compelling, and I did not find the book to be a real 'page-turner', but the effect it had on me as the reader was profound.

First the idea of invisibility is something we have all thought about at one point or another. This book forced me to flesh out the desire of invisibility for more than just a few...more
Wonderfully written book, with an amazingly interesting, though already known to the majority, and intelligent story.

First of all I want to stress out the fact that the story is very well written, for H. G. Wells is a high-level writer. Besides it is written in a way that descriptions and low-paced parts are as interesting as the others, making you keep a steady reading pace along the whole book.

Regarding the story itself, I really found it interesting and very readable. It's a simple story, wit...more
Mientras leía La ladrona de libros me entraron unas ganas tremendas de poder leer lo que Liesel estuvo leyendo a lo largo de toda la novela; lamentablemente eso no es posible, pero la versión cinematográfica de la novela me daría una inesperada sorpresa cambiando El hombre que se encogía de hombros por El hombre invisible . No tengo ni idea de por qué hicieron este cambio, pero el caso es que me benefició, porque si bien no era lo que en principio tenía ganas de leer, al menos sí era algo que po...more
Having rediscovered that Wells is a fantastic writer, I queued him up again pretty quickly. Bless you nameless myriads at Project Gutenberg and similar, for making this and other public domain books free and instantly available!

So, what happens if a sociopath manages the trick of invisibility? Well, first we get an invisible cat, which delights me no end, loathe as I am to inconvenience the visible ones who hinder me from reading. Fortunately, for all his skill as a researcher, Griffin is kind o...more
I downloaded this for my Kindle thinking it was Ellison's "Invisible Man"! So I read it looking for allegories of racism and oppression. What's weird is that everything the main character goes through could be an allegory, but that's not what Wells' meant it to be. I don't think he did anyway. I have read Wells' other works so perhaps he did mean it as some type of allegory, but for what I'm not sure.

So only part of my previous review of what I thought was Ellison's book applies. That is: I rea...more
aljouharah altheeyb
معرفتي الأولى بالرجل الخفي تعود قديماً لطفولتي، لا أتذكر تماماً متى، لكن ربما للصفوف الدنيا للمرحلة الإبتدائية أو ماقبلها، لأني أذكر بأن مخزن المنزل كان عبارة عن مغارة سوداء لا متناهية لا يمكن سبر أغوارها دون ضوء الشمس المتسلل للغرف المظلمه أو مع جدتي أو أمي عندما يعملان في المخزن.
ماحدث هو أنه في أحد الأيام شاهدت مقطعاً من فلم غريب، حيث حك مُخترع شاب جسده بصابونة الإخفاء التي اخترعها ومن ثم اختفى تماماً!
المشهد كان ومازال عالقاً بذهني، لأنه أدهشني بشدة، وعدم معرفتي بمالذي حدث للبطل أو الأحدداث...more
I've read an edition which is retold by Peter Koster, I felt as if I'm reading an old boring children's story -.-
No quotes and a simple boring language.
-It was like:
Sam ate lunch. Sam went to the bedroom. Sam slept. Sam woke up… etc. -
The last 20 pages were a bit more exciting.
The end didn't amaze me at all, too ordinary.
1 star for Peter Koster and 2 for H.G Wells ..
Bob Arnold
Not near caliber of The Time Machine or War of the Worlds. Still it was worth reading. Wells seemed more involved with a mans obsession in achieving a goal, a focus so great he doesn't look forward to possible negatives that may arise from his great achievement.
One of the neat things about Wells was his attention to detail. He was very careful to make the man an albino to facilitate his way of making the man invisible. Like the bit with the tea in "The First Men in the Moon", it's little things like this that make the story better than average. The character & situation are also well done.

I consider this one of the 'must reads' for anyone interested in SF. So many other works built off of it. It's an excellent baseline to measure them against.
Joshua Rigsby
When technology develops faster than the mind can comprehend, it makes the world a frightening place. This was certainly true of the 19th century. For the first time people could travel around the world in two and a half months. Anything seemed possible.

Like reanimating the dead.

Or becoming invisible.

The story certainly starts off ominously enough. A mummy-like bandaged man sits alone in a small town inn with a reclusive nature and sour disposition. But when things go south the story moves li...more
Abby Lutes
This book was awesome but a little to violent for me... the word killing...makes me mad...hate that word. Well anyways, I accidentally spoiled it for my mom and dad. I'm horrible at keeping secrets about books, I just always want to talk about it after I read it,but I absolutely hate comprehension test. Anyways I'm totally jealous of the invisible man except I would NOT absolutely NOT like to be violent at all and not care for it. I's mean...totally mean...WOW!
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In 1866, (Herbert George) H.G. Wells was born to a working class family in Kent, England. Young Wells received a spotty education, interrupted by several illnesses and family difficulties, and became a draper's apprentice as a teenager. The headmaster of Midhurst Grammar School, where he had spent a year, arranged for him to return as an "usher," or student teacher. Wells earned a government schol...more
More about H.G. Wells...
The Time Machine The War of the Worlds The Island of Dr. Moreau The Time Machine/The Invisible Man The First Men in the Moon

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“All men, however highly educated, retain some superstitious inklings.” 38 likes
“Alone-- it is wonderful how little a man can do alone! To rob a little, to hurt a little, and there is the end.” 18 likes
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